• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Jul 20, 2004
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 79 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 79
  2. Negative: 9 out of 79

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  1. Mar 27, 2011
    10
    Even after all these years, this stands the time as one of the best football games ever made. The presentation is unparalleled and the game is so packed with features that it still has life nearly 7 years after its initial release. ESPN NFL 2K5 is our generation's Tecmo Bowl.
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    10
    This game defined my LIFE from 2005-2009. Yes, 4 years and this game was my most played game. The controls are excellent (the first and only football game that makes it humanly possible to kick/punt, play defense, or call a **** play), the graphics while far from state of the art don't hinder the game's fun. The mini-games found in the "crib" are fun as hell, and the teams and players wereThis game defined my LIFE from 2005-2009. Yes, 4 years and this game was my most played game. The controls are excellent (the first and only football game that makes it humanly possible to kick/punt, play defense, or call a **** play), the graphics while far from state of the art don't hinder the game's fun. The mini-games found in the "crib" are fun as hell, and the teams and players were APPROPRIATELY rated (3rd string QBs do NOT get an 80 rating, Madden.) I never downgrade to madden after this masterpiece of sports gaming. The only flaw that I found was having to play within punching distance of my older brother. Expand
  3. DavidMasters
    Dec 12, 2008
    9
    This is a great game for the football fan. Its not easy to score like most of the older games i played on sega it can be very challenging and addicting for sure! Decent commentary and play by play though some is repeated but to be expected it is a game lol. I enjoy the game it beats madden
  4. [Anonymous]
    Jul 23, 2004
    10
    This game is simply amazing. I have yet to experience a game so well made. The graphics on PS2 are comparable to graphics for other games on XBOX and there is a lot of detail put into this game. This game has gotten a HUGE facelift since 2K4 such as the Franchise mode and the new VIP feature. The VIP allows you to play against different profiles and NFL coaches and it also allows you to This game is simply amazing. I have yet to experience a game so well made. The graphics on PS2 are comparable to graphics for other games on XBOX and there is a lot of detail put into this game. This game has gotten a HUGE facelift since 2K4 such as the Franchise mode and the new VIP feature. The VIP allows you to play against different profiles and NFL coaches and it also allows you to view an offline person's VIP and view their tendencies! I absolutely love this game and apart from some minor glitches, it is perfect. Collapse
  5. DieHardMaddenFan
    Jul 24, 2004
    9
    I was about as skeptical as you can get... not Madden & only 19.99? This game HAS to suck right? NO!! I don't know what new additions they made to Madden 2005, but there had better be a TON if they wanna keep up with ESPN NFL 2k5! Believe it coming from a die hard Madden fan... This game is EXCELLENT!! The only flaw with the game I can see is some audio screw ups by the announcers I was about as skeptical as you can get... not Madden & only 19.99? This game HAS to suck right? NO!! I don't know what new additions they made to Madden 2005, but there had better be a TON if they wanna keep up with ESPN NFL 2k5! Believe it coming from a die hard Madden fan... This game is EXCELLENT!! The only flaw with the game I can see is some audio screw ups by the announcers that are only noticible if you're listening for them (wrong name announced made the tackle, etc.) Expand
  6. Gov.Terminator
    Jul 28, 2004
    9
    This goes out to the folks out there giving this game under a 7. Did you guys try out maximum passing? since it is not preset...you have to select it from the "team select menu". Without this feature, the passing game is mediocre, since most of your passes will be dropped. Turn this feature on, and you'll be able to control whether you want to lead your receiver, in any which way. This goes out to the folks out there giving this game under a 7. Did you guys try out maximum passing? since it is not preset...you have to select it from the "team select menu". Without this feature, the passing game is mediocre, since most of your passes will be dropped. Turn this feature on, and you'll be able to control whether you want to lead your receiver, in any which way. Not only does every pass that you throw have your signature on it (since maximum passing allows you so much control), but it makes you earn every catch. running game is hands down better than last years, more moves...monster hits, hit the hole and the field is all urs. I bought this game a week ago and didn't figure out maximum passin till last nite...changed my whole outlook on it. i have to take a point off for recycled commentary and animations...come on sega!!! i know it's only $20 but keep it fresh. Expand
  7. TonyC.
    Aug 4, 2004
    10
    I'm a former Madden lemming that gave ESPN a try last year, it was so good I'm now an NFL 2K... devotee. The fluid animations are so much better than Madden, and the running game is simply awesome. The running is a lot tougher this year compared to last, but all aspects of gameplay are tunable via sliders, so the game can be challenging to the newbie or die-hard pigskin fan. VIP I'm a former Madden lemming that gave ESPN a try last year, it was so good I'm now an NFL 2K... devotee. The fluid animations are so much better than Madden, and the running game is simply awesome. The running is a lot tougher this year compared to last, but all aspects of gameplay are tunable via sliders, so the game can be challenging to the newbie or die-hard pigskin fan. VIP is cool, ever wanted to play the best online player but was too scared to get your butt kicked? or you aren't good enough for him to give you a shot? then just load his vip and play him, you can learn a lot about different strategies. play against yourself to see your weaknesses. It's all about getting better, and who doesn't want to get better? Expand
  8. BillK.
    Jul 27, 2004
    10
    I've been playing Madden since the FIRST one came out and I'll probably guy the next one too. I only played Sega's franchise once previously on Dreamcast. Having said that, I was completely blown away at how much it has changed and how good it is. First off, there is an in-game manual among other "books"... football terms, a football primer (MUCH better than the I've been playing Madden since the FIRST one came out and I'll probably guy the next one too. I only played Sega's franchise once previously on Dreamcast. Having said that, I was completely blown away at how much it has changed and how good it is. First off, there is an in-game manual among other "books"... football terms, a football primer (MUCH better than the Madden's explaining just a few plays), a tips section. The game is so deep its ridiculous; there's just so much to do. Obviously there's a deep Franchise mode, and its great that you can prepare/scout all week for each game. I also love the detailed stats (pie charts even!) they give you on your style of play. This ends up being your VIP and when your friends play you can save theirs and practice playing them when they're not even there. The Crib feature is pure genius and gives me far more incentive to keep playing than collecting Madden cards, which I never use anyway. Celebrities calling you at your Crib and challenging you to games (through their VIP) with their own created teams is a fun touch too. Best part about ESPN is it doesn't feel like AI is cheating or letting you cheat. I don't like how Madden has to punish whichever team is losing just to make games close and exciting. That's so cheap. I'd prefer the exciting games just happen. The thrilling comebacks would mean so much more...and in ESPN it feels honest. Now I've knocked Madden in this review and I might end up buying it because I'm a huge football fan, and there are a lot of good features in it. But as of right now it feels like Madden is playing catch-up to ESPN. Also, thank you for making this game $20 and I hope more developers follow suit...another reason ESPN has won me over. Expand
  9. JamesJ.
    Aug 6, 2004
    10
    It's the best football i have ever seen in my whole entire life any foot ball fan must get this game if u dont you are unlucky it is simply to good to pass up this game is ten times better than madden.
  10. VernonB.
    Jul 25, 2004
    9
    ESPN NFL 2K5 totally rocks! The graphics are great, and the espn style presetation is awsome. The gameplay is also good, it does seem a little bit choppy to me. It is very easy to run. Other than that there are some small glitches that I noticed. But no game is perfect.
  11. KhrisB.
    Jul 22, 2004
    10
    The best football game ever...hands down a must buy.
  12. TuomasK.
    Aug 15, 2004
    10
    This game owns Madden in any category! Graphics and Gameplay are milestones ahead of ANY EA game! And the price!! 20 BUCKS! If you don't own this, go check your head!
  13. BikoG.
    Aug 13, 2004
    10
    After having played both NFL 2k5 and Madden 2005, ESPN truly wins the battle. The realism, graphical smoothness, and new preparation mode clearly outmatches any new feature that madden has brought to the table. Also, NFL 2K5's counterpart to ESPN Basketball's isomotion system makes the game even more spontaneous, allowing a player to perform combinations of jukes, as opposed to After having played both NFL 2k5 and Madden 2005, ESPN truly wins the battle. The realism, graphical smoothness, and new preparation mode clearly outmatches any new feature that madden has brought to the table. Also, NFL 2K5's counterpart to ESPN Basketball's isomotion system makes the game even more spontaneous, allowing a player to perform combinations of jukes, as opposed to the running game of madden, which is slower and less real. The new wrap up tackling system is also another plus, which forces both players to "fight" just like in real life. Rushers can now drag tacklers unlike madden which stops after contact has been made( unless one performs a stiffarm, which is inconsistent in itself). And even though Madden made major leaps in presentation, it still cant compare to the professionalism and reality of the ESPN-based commentary. Overall, both are good football games, but ESPN football takes the cake. And Bob S., jump off the bandwagon; you're making me sick. Expand
  14. AdamC.
    Aug 13, 2004
    9
    This game is so much better than Madden PERIOD!
  15. DevonO.
    Aug 20, 2004
    10
    Great game all around! Superb graphics, realistic gameplay, smart AI, excelent franchise mode. What more do you need?
  16. Mike
    Aug 20, 2004
    10
    Dont bother buying Madden for $50, get this one.. $20 and a better game. Graphics and gameplay are outstanding.. the best football game out there!
  17. ShawnG.
    Aug 10, 2004
    10
    This game is outstanding! The graphics and presentation alone make you feel like your watching an ESPN Sunday Night game. Anyone who bashes this game in favor of Madden is biased with a capital B. I'll be the first to admit that Madden was the better game of 2004, but in 2003 the 2k was just as good as Madden. When I saw that there were Madden lovers rating the 2k5 at a 6 and lower I This game is outstanding! The graphics and presentation alone make you feel like your watching an ESPN Sunday Night game. Anyone who bashes this game in favor of Madden is biased with a capital B. I'll be the first to admit that Madden was the better game of 2004, but in 2003 the 2k was just as good as Madden. When I saw that there were Madden lovers rating the 2k5 at a 6 and lower I had to put in my 2 cents. Thats foolish! Im not sure which game they played. Save your hard earned money, listen to someone who has an unbiased opinion and just wants the best football game year in year out regardless of the title. ESPN has slightly harder controls only because there is more options and decisions for you the gameplayer, but after playing a few times it becomes easier. I've also seen complaints about dropped passes in the ESPN 2k5. I dont think that every pass that hits a receivers hands is caught during the NFL season. Overall the game is realistic, the players get tired, tackles are broken and the more you play and learn the controls the more you can affect each and every play in the game. You should definitely give this game a chance. Expand
  18. MikeN.
    Aug 15, 2004
    10
    Best Football game ever made. Hands down. Those that give it a low rank are disengenuouse. Madden is a great game,..no doubt about it. I own madden 01, 02 and 03. I have also played 04. I was and am a madden fan. However ESPN is a better game. Face it, ESPN is the best Football SIMULATOR. And those that rank it below an 8 out of 10 will never get a second look from me when I am looking Best Football game ever made. Hands down. Those that give it a low rank are disengenuouse. Madden is a great game,..no doubt about it. I own madden 01, 02 and 03. I have also played 04. I was and am a madden fan. However ESPN is a better game. Face it, ESPN is the best Football SIMULATOR. And those that rank it below an 8 out of 10 will never get a second look from me when I am looking for a good game review. Expand
  19. G.H.
    Aug 21, 2004
    10
    The only reason Madden outsells the 2k series is because of brainwashed hardcore maddenites and not because it's a better game. Visual Concepts has created another masterpiece, "the best football game ever made" in ESPN NFL Football 2k5. NFL 2k5 is the most realistic football game available. You're not going to find "long bomb hailmary money-plays in triple coverage and 72-65 The only reason Madden outsells the 2k series is because of brainwashed hardcore maddenites and not because it's a better game. Visual Concepts has created another masterpiece, "the best football game ever made" in ESPN NFL Football 2k5. NFL 2k5 is the most realistic football game available. You're not going to find "long bomb hailmary money-plays in triple coverage and 72-65 scores on 5 minute quarters" in this game. If that is what you want, then buy Madden 2005. NFL 2k5 is for true football fans that appreciate "real" football. You actually have to make smart decisions on the field to be successful in NFL 2k5. The AI in 2k5 is the most realistic ever made for a football game. Simming a game in "real time" is jaw dropping and believable. Franchise mode is very good, but not as good as Madden's. Other than franchise, 2k5 has Madden beat in everything else. If "real" is important to you, then buy ESPN NFL Football 2k5. Expand
  20. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    For the time it was the best FB game of all time. Graphically and mechanics have faded away with the times but the presentation is HANDS DOWN the best I have every experienced in a video game and I still wish 2K Sports would bring out another FB game to put Madden in it's place. Come on NFL 2K14!
  21. SmithM.
    Jul 24, 2004
    10
    This game is great.
  22. Dave
    Jul 26, 2004
    9
    I read an article the other day about games getting better without really changing much. Anyway the subject of conversation was EA's NCAA 2005 and it seems to be the curse for many of the EA franchises and even caused me to leave the NHL series behind for ESPN's awesome NHL series. This year the $20 price tag made me take a gamble on ESPN that was totally worth it. I have been a I read an article the other day about games getting better without really changing much. Anyway the subject of conversation was EA's NCAA 2005 and it seems to be the curse for many of the EA franchises and even caused me to leave the NHL series behind for ESPN's awesome NHL series. This year the $20 price tag made me take a gamble on ESPN that was totally worth it. I have been a long time Madden fan, but this year ESPN has made a great football game. Still have to wait and see if Madden has improved or just hidden the same game under new features and cool animations. This is a great game with great graphics and responsive controls and it plays like real football. No up by two tuchdowns and the computer scores 3 in a matter of :40 seconds. Expand
  23. BretF.
    Jul 21, 2004
    9
    Gameplay is great and easy to learn, the graphics are outstanding, and the presentation is by far the best of any sports video game.
  24. Reggie
    Aug 18, 2004
    9
    This game is the best football, I think its even better then NFL Madden 2005 !!! They have all the same stuff. I have Madden and I plan on selling it.
  25. MarcusB.
    Jul 26, 2004
    9
    To all of the whiners who would rather "throw away their money", please shut up. This game, at only $20 is one of the best bargains of all time. I'm sick of crybaby fanboys who always complain about 1)price 2)length of the game 3)how the previous version was better. Maybe Madden will be better, but it is a damn fine game.
  26. Ron
    Aug 11, 2004
    9
    A very polished game. Exciting to play and easy to learn. Seems to play at a quick pace which is nice when short on time. I would have rather seen the video highlights of my game rather than the still shots that are covered during halftime and post game. A superb deal for $20. Having bought NCAA 2005 and now NFL 2K5 leaves me with the impression that this year's spare time will A very polished game. Exciting to play and easy to learn. Seems to play at a quick pace which is nice when short on time. I would have rather seen the video highlights of my game rather than the still shots that are covered during halftime and post game. A superb deal for $20. Having bought NCAA 2005 and now NFL 2K5 leaves me with the impression that this year's spare time will almost all be spent playing 2K5. Expand
  27. JGamer
    Jul 29, 2004
    9
    I like this game. I wish it was a little easier getting around in the franchise mode, but I wished the same thing for Madden last year. For $20 I recommend it to everyone. I think it is definitely on par with Madden.
  28. JohnT.
    Aug 2, 2004
    9
    Gameplay is fantastic!! And thats all I care about . . . Madden has options galore, franchise etc . . . but when it comes down to pure gameplay and graphics ESPN rules.
  29. SteveM.
    Sep 2, 2004
    10
    Best football game evaaaar!!!
  30. Madden'saGiant
    Aug 9, 2004
    10
    The best thing about this game is that u dont have to listen to john maddens painfully stupid commentary. while the commentary can be a bit repetetive it is not nearly as irritating as madden overstating the obvious. the graphics and the physics are incredible and there are plenty of options to keep the game interesting. plus the sportscenter feature is sweet. ill never waste money onThe best thing about this game is that u dont have to listen to john maddens painfully stupid commentary. while the commentary can be a bit repetetive it is not nearly as irritating as madden overstating the obvious. the graphics and the physics are incredible and there are plenty of options to keep the game interesting. plus the sportscenter feature is sweet. ill never waste money on madden again, even if IT goes down to 20 bux. Expand
  31. JayPM.
    Aug 10, 2004
    9
    The only thing i wish you could change the players uniforms, like spat tape and visiors.
  32. SmithM.
    Aug 29, 2004
    10
    This game is great.
  33. Ricky
    Sep 4, 2004
    10
    This is way better then madden.
  34. GaryB.
    Oct 5, 2004
    9
    Don't listen to people who say "This doesn't even comparte to Madden!!" or "This is way better than Madden" because we all know they aren't too much different. I've always preferred Sega's sports games because they allow me to do really stupid things - like in their football games I like to punt it through the uprights, and they even have specific commentary for Don't listen to people who say "This doesn't even comparte to Madden!!" or "This is way better than Madden" because we all know they aren't too much different. I've always preferred Sega's sports games because they allow me to do really stupid things - like in their football games I like to punt it through the uprights, and they even have specific commentary for it!! That and the fact that EA uses very bad, out-of-place music in all their games gives Sega the edge. So I think people should save their money this year and buy the Sega games if they usually buy EA, because even if you don't like them as much it won't me a huge difference, or you just might like them more. Expand
  35. KevinA.
    Sep 24, 2004
    10
    While Madden is a great game, ESPN has it beat hands down. Better graphics, more realistic presentation (it looks like an actual ESPN broadcast!), better online features, and the extra $30 in my pocket have me singing praises for Sega's masterpeice. With the $19.99 price tag, this is the year to try out the franchise that has finally sucessfully challenged, if not defeated, the While Madden is a great game, ESPN has it beat hands down. Better graphics, more realistic presentation (it looks like an actual ESPN broadcast!), better online features, and the extra $30 in my pocket have me singing praises for Sega's masterpeice. With the $19.99 price tag, this is the year to try out the franchise that has finally sucessfully challenged, if not defeated, the mighty Madden. And John Madden doesn't do the commentary here. Rating++ Expand
  36. TreyP.
    Dec 3, 2004
    10
    If Madden 2005 is so good then how come its price dropped to $30? Especially if it "has no competition." Madden 2005 is a great game if your playing football for the first time in your life. You can throw 60 yard passes at anytime, and the cornerbacks jump like 10 feet in the air. E.S.P.N is the best football game out there looks better, feels better, is better. The only reason people If Madden 2005 is so good then how come its price dropped to $30? Especially if it "has no competition." Madden 2005 is a great game if your playing football for the first time in your life. You can throw 60 yard passes at anytime, and the cornerbacks jump like 10 feet in the air. E.S.P.N is the best football game out there looks better, feels better, is better. The only reason people like Madden more is because it's been around longer. Oh yeah and whoever the guy is who got 100 sacks in a season either plays to much football or you had the game on rookie. Expand
  37. Ace4567backer
    Jan 9, 2005
    9
    Kicks maddens @$$!!!
  38. KeithL.
    Apr 12, 2005
    10
    Best Football Game Ever, Period! Get it now!
  39. RashadC.
    Apr 28, 2005
    10
    Good Game i love to play this game all night long its an addictive game.
  40. May 11, 2013
    10
    The year is 2013 and this game is still amazingly fun. I've played 2k5 for over a thousand hours. I will play against anyone in the known universe. As it stands only seven challengers have ever beat me. The rest of my foes were utterly annihilated.
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 37
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 37
  3. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Visual Concepts has done an awesome job of squeezing every ounce of power that the PlayStation 2 has to offer while developing this game. The player’s faces look like their real life counter parts, and everything is smoothly animated.
  2. Deep, customizable gameplay along with a number of innovative features go a long way to giving "Madden" a run for its money.
  3. For all of its excellent modes and gameplay, however, ESPN NFL 2K5's greatest asset comes in the form of its graphics. Hands down, flat out, undeniably, inarguably, this is the best-looking football game ever made.